Allerslev: Dansk Folkeparti in the minority on integration

The city’s integration programmes are not under threat according to the returning deputy mayor for integration and employment, Anna Mee Allerslev (R).

Her comments arrive the day after the city's new deputy mayor for culture and leisure, Carl Christian Ebbesen (Dansk Folkeparti), promised to end the “preferential treatment” of foreigners when he assumes the position in January.

“If we are to reinforce the message that we are all part of a community, it’s important that the rules and conditions are the same for everyone,” Ebbesen told Politiken, pledging to end city programmes such as gender-segregated swimming classes.

READ MORE: Dansk Folkeparti takes control of Copenhagen's culture

Should know better
But Allerslev says that while Ebbesen will be leading the Leisure and Culture Administration, he is unlikely to gather enough support to block the use of cultural facilities for integration programmes.

“I’m not sure why he said what he did because he should know better,” Allerslev told The Copenhagen Post. “I think right now he’s out making some strong statements because he was just given the role, but I think he will quickly face reality and be forced to be pragmatic.”

Allerslev points out that deputy mayors do not have the final say over their administration’s policies and that they can only pass policies that are supported by a majority.

DF in the minority
Ebbesen is currently a member of the employment and integration committee and Allerslev says she has enjoyed working with him.

“He’s a nice guy and we have collaborated well on employment initiatives, though we disagree on integration issues. I think we are a diverse city and that we need to embrace that through integration and inclusion programmes in order to find ways of including new Copenhageners in our democracy," Allerslev said. "He disagrees, but fortunately his opinion is only shared by a small minority.”

READ MORE: Pia Allerslev swaps culture out with children

New leadership
Dansk Folkeparti won control of one of the city's seven administrations after it became the second largest opposition party in the Copenhagen local elections.

The Culture and Leisure Administration became available after Pia Allerslev of lead opposition party Venstre chose to swap it out with the Children and Youth Administration.

The last of the seven administrations found its new leader yesterday when Socialdemokraterne appointed Jesper Christensen (S) as the deputy mayor of social affairs.